BludgerTrack: 54.4-45.6 to Coalition

The weekly poll aggregate reading now has the Coalition well ahead of its position at the 2013 election, with Bill Shorten’s personal ratings continuing to sink.

This week’s big result for the Coalition from Ipsos has had a solid impact on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, which shifts a further 0.9% on two-party preferred and four seats on the seat projection, including one each in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. The two other pollsters to report this week were essentially stable, but both are being downweighted by the model owing to their idiosyncrasies: Morgan for having the Coalition several points higher than the rest of the pack, and Essential Research for its characteristically sedate reading of the recent Coalition surge. New leadership ratings from Ipsos push Bill Shorten’s personal rating to a new low with no sign of the downward trend abating, whereas Malcolm Turnbull now appears to have reached his equilibrium point.

Other news from around the place:

• Sharon Bird, Labor’s member for the safe seat of Cunningham in the Illawarra region, faces a preselection challenge from Misha Zelinsky, described by Nick McLaren of the ABC as “an official with the Australian Workers Union, former NSW government policy advisor and criminal defence lawyer”.

• The Liberal National Party has preselected Nic Monsour, managing director of a consultancy and brother-in-law of Campbell Newman, as its candidate for the southern Brisbane seat of Moreton, which Graham Perrett gained for Labor in 2007 and did well to retain in 2013.

• The Nationals have preselected Marty Corboy, a manager at a Wangaratta stockfeed business, as its candidate for the seat of northern Victorian seat of Indi, which independent Cathy McGowan won from Liberal member Sophie Mirabella, who will also be a candidate again.

Georgie Burgess of the Launceston Examiner reports that the Liberals’ Tasmanian Senate preselection is pitting incumbents Eric Abetz and Stephen Parry against Sally Chandler, a trade expert who was pipped at the post by Jacqui Lambie as the Liberals’ number three candidate in 2013, and Jonathon Duniam, deputy chief-of-staff to Will Hodgman.

Roy Morgan had one of its occasional polls on the biggest issues facing the country and the world. Terrorism and war came back to life late last year after a long quiet spell, though more as an international than a local issue. The economy is on a long upward trend at local level, but the terrorism and war resurgence looks to have taken the edge off it in the international result. The results are from a phone poll of 647 respondents conducted a month ago.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,131 comments on “BludgerTrack: 54.4-45.6 to Coalition”

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  1. As I thought they might be, it appears the French airstrikes in Syria are mostly for show. Same for the others’, the US and Russia (and presumably the RAAF’s airstrikes).

    [Abdullah, a Syrian concierge in Beirut who reached his sister in Raqqa on Tuesday, said that in the case of the seven French airstrikes on Monday, “all these strikes are targeting abandoned empty locations”.


  2. Good morning.

    If we are not earning much more, government revenue won’t grow much. And it needs to if the budget is to have a hope of meeting its forecasts.
    Experts have raised concerns over the handling of IT security issues by the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Human Services
    In a slap-down to hawks including former prime minister Tony Abbott, Mr Turnbull said Syria was a “complete catastrophe” which needed a political solution and not a military invasion.
    Why, if there were confirmed IS targets that could be hit without killing civilians, were they not hit more heavily long ago?
    Islamic State’s online propaganda magazine claims to show the bomb that brought down the Russian jet in Egypt
    Evidence that only 0.4 per cent of the 5500 projects referred to the Department of the Environment in the last 15 years had been subject to a legal challenge.
    A commitment to close the huge widening gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous incarceration rates will be pursued under a Shorten government.
    The Coalition believes that the arms-length board appointment process is cumbersome, expensive and at odds with the government’s deregulation agenda.
    Mr Buhari ordered the arrest of a former government official and others accused of stealing more than $2 billion intended to fund the fight against Boko Haram in Nigeria.

  3. Pointing the finger at refugees sidesteps the problem of homegrown jihadism
    The program of targeted killings by unmanned aircraft has become a major driving force for Isis and other terrorist groups.
    After terrorist attacks in Paris last week left more than 100 people dead, Charlie Hebdo has responded with yet another provocative cover
    “The electricity is so powerful they have to be paralysed while we’re doing it or they would just jump off the table.”
    TV programs rated M can air an hour earlier and the child-friendly zones before and after school will disappear.
    It was a day of high obfuscation as some of the world’s best known multinationals faced the Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance.
    Schaper admits larger businesses are likely to want to rush through contracts to avoid the legislation.
    Farmer Kym Curnow died after getting trapped in the blaze after driving door to door warning people to evacuate their homes.
    And welcome to the twilight of fossil fuels in Australia! Your news of the day, reduced to a snarky rant.

  4. I see Campbell Newman & the Monsour Family still think they ARE the LNP in Queensland. Relevance Deprivation Syndrome writ large. Or Napoleonic Syndrome in the runt’s case. Power by proxy because you are still as toxic as ever would be what it will be as I’m sure the runt would love to be chancing his own arm in the federal arena.

    If only he could convince the people of Queensland he had changed his spots. Though from this evidence it appears unlikely.

    Graham Perrett must be thanking his lucky stars, his campaign will pretty much run itself now.

  5. [While Aldi has abandoned the element of surprise, it appears to favour another of Sun Tzu’s principles of war – “hit him suddenly with shock troops”.

    The retailer expects to open 16 stores in South Australia by the end of 2016, starting in February with Seaford Heights, Parafield Gardens, Hallett Cove and Woodcroft and following in March with Modbury, Noarlunga, Mount Barker and St Agnes.

    Stores are also planned for West Lakes, Hawthorn, Victor Harbor, Blakeview, Smithfield, Kilburn, Gilles Plains, Berri, Marion, Aldinga, Evanston, Nuriootpa, Golden Grove, Salisbury, Mount Gambier, Port Pirie and Yorke Peninsula.

    Aldi is expected to open its first stores in Western Australia by the middle of calendar 2016, although no dates have been released.]

    Read more:

  6. [ Islamic State releases a picture of bomb it claims brought down Russian plane

    The latest issue of Islamic State’s online propaganda magazine claims to show the bomb that brought down the Russian jet in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula more than two weeks ago.

    The image, which includes a Schweppes Gold can and other apparent components of improvised explosives, could not be independently verified. Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate asserted responsibility for the downing of the jet on October 31, in which 224 people were killed.]

    Read more:

  7. dave:

    [ The retailer expects to open 16 stores in South Australia by the end of 2016, starting in February ]

    I don’t know what the lineup is for NSW, but there is an Aldi store being built right now in Armidale.

    anybody else getting the ‘slow down’ message? I haven’t posted since yesterday.

    Advise all to copy their posts before hitting ‘comment’.

  8. Dave @ 745 that report about Aldi opening 16 new stores in South Australia shows the lack of knowledge of retail and food in particular, of the journalist. Obviously Aldi have to open 16 stores at once because they have built a South Australian warehouse

  9. Don

    Everyone is getting the slow down message.

    Generally I find if I press the back button I can repost. Probably psychological, but the second time I hit the post button slowly and firmly.

    I will shortly have two Aldi stores in walking distance and a third in the next suburb down. I will have two Aldi stores as my “locals” on Woolworths and 1 Coles.

  10. There are suggestions the Grand Bumpkin of Tasmania, Senator Jacqui Lambie, should be forced to wear an ankle bracelet and have her comments monitored to prevent further outbreaks of stupid commentary.

    She has been defended from a surprising quarter. Andrew Bolt thinks it would be outrageous for any person to have their movements monitored because of stupid commentary. “It is a fundamental right I cherish”, thought Bolt.

  11. [ The world’s largest miner, BHP Billiton, has cancelled more than a dozen Christmas parties across its iron ore operations as it manages an environmental disaster caused by a dam collapse at its Samarco joint venture in Brazil.

    A BHP Billiton iron ore spokeswoman confirmed all corporate and mine site Christmas parties had been cancelled. It included the Christmas function planned for its Melbourne staff.]

    Read more:

  12. Morning all.

    The WA news (not the Perth news) last night was pretty much all about Esperance. A local farmer and 3 international tourists were the 4 who died. The farmer reportedly died while trying to prevent neighbours from driving towards the fire front.

  13. [ The iron ore price was poised on Wednesday to set a new low in its history as an openly priced commodity. A $US2.16 a tonne, 4.5 per cent slide to $US45.58 left it down 36 per cent for the year, down 22 per cent in 10 weeks, and just US99¢ or 2.2 per cent above its all-time “market” low of $US44.59 a tonne in July.

    That July price is the lowest iron ore has gone since miners and steel mills moved from long-term contracts and prices to long-term contracts underpinned by floating, market-based prices about four years ago.]

    Read more:

  14. Fortescue Metals’ break even price is $US57 per tonne, according to UBS research.

    BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have breakeven prices of $US35 per tonne and $US33 per tonne.

    Grange Resources, like Fortescue, has a breakeven price of $US57 per tonne. BC Iron has a breakeven of $US61 per tonne, while Atlas Iron’s $US64 per tonne and Mount Gibson is $US54 per tonne.

    UBS analyst Glyn Lawcock estimates Rinehart’s Roy Hill operation with breakeven iron ore price of $US41 a tonne.

  15. [The world’s largest miner, BHP Billiton, has cancelled more than a dozen Christmas parties across its iron ore operations as it manages an environmental disaster caused by a dam collapse at its Samarco joint venture in Brazil.]
    Well that should fix everything. Did these cowboys learn nothing from Ok Tedi?

  16. Don you won’t know what hit you when Aldi opens,

    $500 laptop computers
    $12 iPad covers
    fresher meat than Woollies
    cheaper vegetables, from the Coles veggie buyer
    cheaper TVs, less than $200 with builtin DVD player
    different biscuit brands – the shortbread was dreadful is now very good
    cheap ski gear, motorcycle leathers,

    Most specials are good quality as the consumer has 60 days to return merchandise and if there are too many returns the special is not repeated.

    The business press has written that suppliers prefer the Aldi way of working where the company advises them of forthcoming sales campaigns in sufficient time for the companies to produce the product i.e. grow the food. Coles is so preoccupied with Woolworths spying their strategies that they keep suppliers in the dark until the last minute (and make stupid software purchasing decisions even for statutory business processes like payroll and workers compensation)

  17. billie@10

    Dave @ 745 that report about Aldi opening 16 new stores in South Australia shows the lack of knowledge of retail and food in particular, of the journalist. Obviously Aldi have to open 16 stores at once because they have built a South Australian warehouse

    I’m not defending the wording of the article or Aldi, but would have thought it works the other way around as well ?

    ie – They needed to built a SA distribution centre (anyway) in order to open 16 stores.

    Have read previously they won’t open a store more than 4 road hours from a distribution centre, but that rule of thumb may be challenged in SA and in particular WA?

  18. From lizzie’s links. A fine serving of Hyper Bowl from Mr Kenny.

    [A possible compromise deal with the strongman accused of the most extensive war crimes since Hitler’s Nazi regime,]

    [Telstra’s decision to impose a 60 per cent fee hike on customers who receive a printed bill has been labelled “discriminatory” and “nasty” by seniors groups and customers.

    In a letter dated 13 November, Telstra announced it would increase its “monthly charge for non-electronic billing and payment methods”.

    Telstra customers who receive their bills on paper via mail or pay monthly accounts face-to-face will be slugged $3.20 a bill, up $1.20 from the current $2 charge. The increase will take effect on 28 November. Telstra recorded a profit last year of $4.3 billion.]

  20. [A bonus one found on Cathy Wilcox’s twitter feed, from Katauskos.


    The Media’s tiresome preoccupation with Bill Shorten now progresses, predictably, to the “Car Crash” theme.

    We’ve had “The Killing Season”, “Questions that need to be answered”, and when they were answered (to Shortens complete exoneration), we had “Why does this man bother?”, followed by “Pressure is now on Bill Shorten”, and now the inevitable “Car Crash Shorten” meme.

    All very tired. All very predictable. All lazy and unimaginative. Oh, for the good old days, when a clapped out turn of phrase was classed as rapier wit.

    Bill Shorten is not in trouble. He is up against Malcolm Turnbull who, for the moment, has won the public’s acclaim as the Anti Abbott.

    Turnbull is only there because Shorten knew how to play Abbott like a fiddle. He resisted his baits. He went along when there was no point, or no danger – to either himself, Labor or the public interest – in refusing to be wedged. He forced Abbott to go from 2 flags, to 4, to 8 and eventually to 12 (or was it 16?).

    Despite the best efforts of the scribblers, sitting at their laptops, going through old memes trying to find something to pin on Shorten, and at the same time writing up Abbott as brilliant, a statesman (!), the “de facto Prime Minister of Australia” (when he was just an Opposition Leader), plus facing a 40 seat majority, Bill Shorten stayed the course and contributed rather a lot to the end of Abbott, an end that came in record time.

    For that alone, Bill Shorten should be thanked. Without him as LOTO, fighting from a position of almost no leverage or strength of Parliamentary numbers, using just his brain and his patience, we ridded ourselves of the most destructive and vicious Prime Minister in history, now relegated to baying at the moon from the sidelines. At the same time Labor stayed together, won most of the polls, and got its confidence back.

    Not a bad effort, I’d say, for someone who’s supposed to be a car crash leader.

    Turnbull is a different nut to crack, but not necessarily a tougher one. He has behind him a history of his party being in government for two years and getting virtually nothing done, except turning one demographic against another, in order to divide and conquer. They couldn’t eve pass their Budgets.

    Eventually the Turnbull savoir faire and the insouciance so beloved of the Media Class, and at the moment fleetingly popular with the punters, will have to be put to one side in favour of doing some actual work, getting some actual runs on the board.

    Turnbull has never been able to manage a complex policy program in his life. Witness the botch he made of the republic, the disaster that is the spaghetti monster some still call the “NBN”. Sure, he has a nice turn of phrase, but a turn of phrase is not governing. There is no point having buoyant confidence if there are no jobs. You need both: confidence AND jobs.

    Shorten and Labor know this, but they have to bide their time until the public starts remembering the real Malcolm Turnbull. Labor may lose the next election, but it won’t be because Shorten is not the Messiah. We’re done with Messiahs. Let Turnbull be the Messiah. It’ll be because the public is too enchanted with life as Reality TV to know where their own interests lie.

    Losing elections is quite common. Some here don’t seem to remember, but, every election, somebody loses one. It’s disappointing, and causes some soul searching, but it also strengthens character and builds resolve. There is no shame in losing an election except by incompetence.

    In getting Abbott out of the way, by playing Abbott’s game better than Abbott did, Shorten has shown he has the patience, the resolve and the competence to take things slowly, not to try to force them, and not to resort to the phoney moves of vaudeville that entertain briefly, but leave no lasting effects.

    Turnbull, like Abbott, has always been able to end up being his own worst enemy. He’ll do it again. He loves the sound of his own voice too much and he values show business more than real business.

    Patience is required, and Bill “Car-Crash-Killing-Zone-Questions-that-need-to-be-answered” Shorten is the man who has it.

  21. Mal Brough now under investigation for a serious offence, officially. Cops have raided his home.

    Yes, I think the horse has bolted ong ago, but in the meantime, how long can it be until Mal sacks Mal?

    Arthur Sinodinos was stood down for much less.

    This is Turnbull’s first real test as Prime Minister. He has to consider what his enemies might do about it. No, not Putin, not ISIS, not Bill Shorten… and certainly not the MEdia. I’m talking about his own party.

  22. BB,

    Indeed there is nothing more to be done than for Shorten and the Labor team to get up and go to work and persist, persist and persist.

    In politics there are permanent interests. Popularity comes and goes. Good policy is the key to a return to Government. Just add blood, sweat, tears and hard work.

  23. BB

    While I agree with much of what you say re Bill Shorten, I think you are being wildly optimistic.

    Bill Shorten is as you say, patient and competent. He did hasten the departure of Abbott, although I suspect this was not desired or planned.

    Turnbull has had a honeymoon and before long his faults will start to appear. Indeed I think they are already starting.

    The real issues for the elctorate however remains –

    1. do they trust Turnbull to be sensible rather than Shorten, which comes back to the divisions in the ALP and the whole RGR mess. Abbott, by dividing the LNP may yet be his saviour. The ministry is solid and competent, so this problem should be able to be overcome.

    2. Can Shorten capture the imagination of the electorate enough to overcome their love affair with Turnbull or with whoever the new populist candidate of the moment will be. This is more problematic. Whatever positive things that can be said about Shorten, charasmatic he is not.

  24. I had dinner with my sister on Tuesday night. She is a 2GB listener and now has a vitriolic hatred of Malcolm. This can’t end well for the waffler.

    [Power generators would be forced to pay for the closure of a competitor’s dirty brown-coal fired plant under a radical plan that could help Australia slow the continued increase in electricity sector greenhouse emissions without a carbon price or expensive government subsidies.

    Both the Gillard government and the original version of the coalition’s “Direct Action” policy produced from opposition envisaged payments-for-closure for brown-coal fired plants, but in both cases the idea was abandoned.]

  26. [Mal Brough now under investigation for a serious offence, officially. Cops have raided his home.]

    Why has this taken so bloody long? I mean the man admitted on national TV to having procured Slipper’s diary.

  27. [ The U.S. Treasury Department will release new “targeted guidance” designed to reduce the tax benefits available to U.S. companies that move their tax address overseas.

    Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew informed lawmakers of the coming announcement in a letter on Wednesday. The letter provides no details on what the Treasury Department will do, though the government has previously said it was examining “earnings stripping,” a practice by which companies load up their U.S. operations with deductions and effectively push profits to low-tax countries.

    “Later this week, we intend to issue additional targeted guidance to deter and reduce further the economic benefits of corporate inversions,” Lew wrote.

    “It is important to emphasize, however, that Treasury cannot stop inversions without new statutory authority. Unless and until Congress acts, creative accountants and lawyers will continue to find new ways for companies to move their tax residences overseas and avoid paying taxes here at home.” ]

  28. [Peter Brent ‏@mumbletwits 10m10 minutes ago
    Leyonhjelm’s gun nuttiness a huge drag on LDP’s prospects of building support.]

    Leyonhjelm’s comments have been nothing short of bizarre, but as many minor and micro party senators discover, your only hope of getting media attention is to either do stunts or play wingnut.

  29. IT geeks please help. My spellchecker has disappeared when I reloaded firefox. This, given my terrible typing, rotten (lazy) proof reading and less than brilliant spelling, is making me have more typos than acceptable.

    How do I get it back?

  30. Daretotread:

    [While I agree with much of what you say re Bill Shorten, I think you are being wildly optimistic.]

    Optimistic? I admitted that Labor may well lose – some say probably will lose – the election.

    Who’s going to replace him? Albo? Nice bloke, and a real Labor man, but not a man for the times.

    As GG said, what’s required now is hard work I’ll add self-belief to that. Shorten has given Labor back it’s confidence. Elections aren’t everything. Someone has to lose the next one. If it’s Labor that won’t be an altogether rare occurrence.

    Turnbull is not sensible. Shorten is. You speak of “RGR”, without reference to Turnbull’s own plotting against Abbott, and Abbott’s against Turnbull, both now and back in 2009. Let’s code that as “TAT”… with maybe another “A” on the end of it yet to come.

    Your whole argument seems predicated on winning the next election. If it’s unwinnable there are a lot of reasons for Shorten to stay right where he is.

    There’s brutal practicality of not burning out another leader fighting a pointless fight.

    There’s the inevitability of a Turnbull slide in the polls.

    And there’s the need for Labor to roll with the punches and do it right, to eschew vaudeville, by getting its policies right. Eventually the punters will realize politics is not reality TV, or another installment in The Hunger Games.

    Turnbull’s career will be decided on his ability to handle REAL crises, not to get the ABC twitterers all a’flutter, or the Fairfox droids – who have turned being wrong into an artform – wetting their pants with rapture.

    Turnbull has had to do deals with the right wing of his party. He has four votes to lose for the numbers to be even. He enjoys the scepticism of News Ltd. He revels in the sycophancy of Faoirfax and the blubbering of the ABC. It can all evaporate in a flash if Turnbull f*cks up.

    And he WILL f*ck up.

  31. [ Man found carrying fully automatic sub-machinegun in Marrickville: police

    Police were waiting in Murray Street, Marrickville, when the man, 41, arrived by taxi about 12.30pm on Wednesday.

    He was carrying a backpack, which police searched.

    Police say he was carrying a Thompson fully automatic sub-machinegun, a clip and 15 shotgun shells in the bag.

    He was arrested without incident and taken to Newtown police station, police said.

    He was also charged in relation to outstanding warrants.]

    Read more:

  32. [ Scott Morrison blocks sale of S. Kidman and Co to foreign investors

    Treasurer Scott Morrison will prevent the sale of S. Kidman and Co to foreign investors, saying it would be contrary to Australia’s national interest.

    S. Kidman & Co has a herd of 200,000 cattle in Australia, spanning 101,411 square kilometres and spread across 11 cattle stations in South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

    Chinese investment firm Genius Link Asset Management had been believed to have been ahead after rival company Shanghai Pengxin made a $350 million bid for the company.]

    Read more:

  33. Shorten is actually quite charismatic, but this might – like Abbott’s – be a case of his impact in the flesh, and thus might not play out through more impersonal media.

    The attitude towards him cross factionally in Victoria demonstrates this – even members of the Left regard him with a sort of fond indulgence – as does his ability to build relationships with ‘bosses’.

    Nearly everyone I’ve met who has had something to do with him – including aforesaid bosses, including VFF types – regards him with respect (with AWU organisers, when he was in charge, it was actual awe).

    He has also delivered some quite powerful speeches in Parliament, which (alas) did not get much reportage – I assume they were ‘out of context’.

    An impromptu speech he did fairly recently to a group of students in a pub got some rave reviews on youtube and facebook.

    None of this says that he will beat Turnbull, or even be acknowledged as a more than competent OL (on the metrics that are supposed to matter here – the ability to force sensible changes to government legislation – he has a much superior record to Abbott) but he is being seriously underestimated and undervalued in general commentary at present.

  34. [Manila: President Barack Obama has asked Malcolm Turnbull to keep the United States in the loop from now on following dismay in Washington about the US not being consulted about the decision to allow a Chinese company with alleged links to the People’s Liberation Army to lease the Port of Darwin.

    During the 90-minute meeting between the leaders in Manila, Mr Obama said he understood Australia’s relationship with China and its role in the region but, according to sources, said Washington should have been given a “heads up about these sorts of things”.

    “Let us know next time,” he was quoted as saying.

    Writing for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Strategist blog, analyst Geoff Wade argued “Darwin is intended to be a key link in China’s new 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, providing Chinese access to both the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, as well as to Indonesia and PNG”

    “This in turn will facilitate contention for regional and then global primacy with the United States. The PLA sees one of its key roles as being to protect these economic initiatives offshore. The Darwin deal is thus, among other things, a key element in the PRC’s efforts to weaken the Australian alliance with the US. For these reasons there must be great security concerns about the Darwin deal.”]

    Read more:

    I always thought the Chinese were getting it for a song $500 M upfront for a 99 lease. So just over $5 M a year, less much less after inflation over such a long period.

  35. Certain US states are going troppo over Syrian refugees.

    [Republicans in the US have rallied against allowing Syrian refugees into the country, with several governors vowing to block resettlement plans despite the dubious legality of their defiance.

    The rhetoric was matched by some local leaders, including a Virginia mayor who justified his rejection of refugees by invoking the interment of Japanese Americans during the second world war.]

  36. zoomster:

    The last few days I’ve been searching out quotes on disability and find that quite of a few of the ‘money quote’ type quotes appearing on various advocacy websites even today are from Shorten’s days as minister several years ago.

  37. All those saying Shorten is a dud have obviously not been watching the live pressers.

    Do that and you will get a glimpse how people’s views will change as elections campaigns mean the media have to give the LOTO airtime.

  38. I’ve not heard of Misha Zelinsky before, but most voters in Cunnigham would love the chance to vote for someone other than Bird. Lost a safe Labor seat to the Greens when she first flew in from out of town for a by-election, and since regaining it hasn’t done much with it.

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